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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

54                                               THE BIETH OF KBXSHNA.
year to year, as each, successive child was born, it was taken and delivered to
the tyrant, and by Mm consigned to death. When Devaki became pregnant
for the seventh time, the embryo was miraculously transferred to the womb of
EoMnij another vife of Yasudeva, living at Grokul, on the opposite bank of the
Jamnna, and a report was circulated that the mother had miscarried from the
effects of her long imprisonment and constant anxiety. The child thus marvel-
lously preserved was first called Sankarshaua,* but afterwards received the
name of Balarain or Baladeva, under -which he has become famous to all
posterity.
Another year elapsed ^ and on the eighth of tbc dark fortnight of the month
of Bbadonf Devaki vas delivered of her eighth son, the immortal Krishna.
Yasudeva took the babe in his arms and, favoured by the darkness of the night
and the direct interposition of heaven, passed through the prison guards, who
•were charmed to sleep3 and fled with his precious burden to the Jamuna, It
was then the season of the rains, and the mighty river was pouring down a
wild and resistless flood of waters. But he fearlessly stepped into the eddying
torrent: at the first step that he advanced the wave reached the foot of the
child slumbering in his arms ; then, marvellous to relate, the waters were stilled
at the touch of the divine infant and could rise no higher, J and in a moment
of time the wayfarer bad traversed the torrent's broad expanse and emerged in
safety on ihe opposite shore. § Here he mot Nanda, the chief herdsman of
Gokul, whose wife, Jasoda, at that very time had given birth to a daughter,
no earthly child, however, save in semblance, but the delusive power JoganidnL
Yasudeva dexterously exchanged the two infants and, returning, placed the
female child in the bed of Devaki, At once it began to cry. The guards
rushed in and carried It off to the .tyrant He, assured that it was the very
child of fate, snatched it furiously from their hands and dashed it to the
* Signifying * extraction,* i. e., from His mother's womb. The word Is also explained to mean
* drawing farrows with tite plough/ and would thus be paralleled by Balarania's other names of
Haliyndha, HJaladhara, and Halfibhrit.
f On thift day is celebratal the annual festival In honour of Krishna's birth, called Janm
Ashtsmi.
$ This incident is popularly commemorated by a native toy called * Yasadeva Katora' of
which great numbers are saanttfectnred at Mathnra. It is a brass cup with the figure of a man in
it carrying a chiM at Ms side, and is so contrived that when water is- poured into it It cannot rise
above the child's foot, but ia then carried off by a hidden duct and rons out at the bottom till
the cup Is empty.
The taodixig-plaee Is itill ibown at Goto! sad caEed TJttaresrai Ghat.*